Are you blocked or stuck because of your assumptions or fears? How could you turn these around to enable you to do the things you are avoiding? Some of the suggestions below may seem obvious. Yet it is often the simple that we forget about or ignore. It is often the simple that has the most profound impact.
In our workshop Sales without Selling = Leadership + Communication + Relationship one of the exercises we do is designed to uncover the participant’s assumptions or fears about approaching people.
For example if you have sent an email and not received a reply you might think that the recipient doesn’t care about your message. This assessment is a blocker which may cause you to feel dejected and give up. What, however, if you considered that a lack of response was due to your recipient’s other pressing deadlines. This different way of looking at it is an enabler. He may have quickly scanned your note and decided that he can respond when things have settled down (which may be weeks). Or many of us are overwhelmed by the volume of emails we receive and can easily miss a note if it doesn’t stand out. What if you treated the silence as an invitation to be more creative in how and when you communicate? What if you found out when is the best time of the day for your recipient to notice? What if you took a leaf out of the book of successful social media users? They know the best times to send out messages that are staged at intervals not to bombard their followers.
If you do receive a “no” that may not be the end of your interaction. You can turn around a no into an enabler. I am not referring to the hackneyed sales technique of “reversing an objection”. If you do this your potential customer will likely feel that you are not really listening to her concerns. Worse she may feel disrespected and manipulated. What I am talking about is how can you turn around your mindset so that you recognise that a no is actually an invitation to re-engage in a different way. No may mean not for now. No may mean not in that particular specification. No may mean not at that price.
Or you may hesitate or not approach someone from a fear of rejection. This blocker is common. It tends to be deeply felt. How much more enabling might it be to distinguish between a rejection of the idea, product or service versus a rejection of you?
You may struggle to engage with others because of a fear of failure. What if you turned this around from treating the failure as fatal to a great way of learning a better or more effective strategy?
Make a list of the assumptions and fears that you have. Some may be close to the surface and some may be hidden or masquerading as a legitimate reason not to engage (the proposal must be perfect, it must be a Unique Selling Proposition, I need more experience). Take time to reflect, to notice and become aware of how you are responding and record it in your journal to share with your coach or thought partner.
Sometimes reflecting and working on your own is enough. Other times it is more productive and faster to partner with someone who can listen deeply and can assist you to shed light on what you are blind to or avoiding.
If you would like to explore what are your blockers and how you can reframe, refocus and redirect* contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also have a conversation if you call me on +44 (0) 7952 068133 or +44 (0) 20 7226 3611.
* Read how Judith E. Glaser addresses trust, communication and collaboration by reframing, refocusing and redirecting. See her book Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders BUILD TRUST and Get Extraordinary Results (2014).